The town of Badami, along with small nearby villages of Pattadakal
and Aihole are a hub of ancient architecture of Karnataka. Turn every
corner and you will see a finely carved temple built from sand stone.
Overview. The region around Badami is rich with
architecture dating as far back as the 8th century. Chalukya and
Rashtrakoota dynasties that ruled this region on the bank of
Malaprabha river have built many Hindu, Jain as well as Buddhist
temples on the plains and rocks of these parts. Summers can be hot in
these parts; best time to visit is from November to February.
Orientation. Badami is a small town with some tourist
accommodation. The cave temples and other places to see in Badami are
a short walk out of the town. Banashankari, a small village just
outside Badami is known for its temple and the annaul fair.
Pattadakal and Aihole are 30 minutes to one hour away from Badami.
Buses and rickshaws are easily available for the commute.
Sightseeing and Activities
Cave Temples and Agastyamuni Lake. Badami is most well
known for it's cave temples. There are five temples built on a fine
red sandstone rock, which have carvings of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain
heritage. The place is in a beautiful sight facing Agastyamuni lake.
The hill opposite to the caves has many temples that is
approached by a beautiful passage formed by depression in the rocks.
There is a Shiva temple on the top of the hill. Just beyond the hill
is Malegitti Shivalaya Temple. You can see the panorama of the lake
and the cave temples from the top of the hill. At the base of the
hill is a small museum maintained by Archeological Society of India.
At the far end of the lake is the beautiful Bhoothanatha Temple.
Pattadakal has a complex of temples on the bank of
Malaprabha river. Pattadakal, along with Aihole has the unique
distinction of being the only place where you can see a mix of
northen rekhanagar style architecture along with southern dravidian
structures. Galaganatha temple is a fine example of Rekhanagar style
build of temples, while the Virupaksha temple, one of the largest in
the complex is built in dravidian style.
Aihole once hosted a school of architecture where students
from all over India came to learn. It is often called the cradle of
Indian Architecture, where many styles got evolved and refined. It is
for this reason that one can see temples that confirm to no style,
each different from other, can be easily seen spread all along the
village. Durgi Gudi, Lad-Khan Temple, Huchhimalli temple and
Ravanphadi are some of the important temples in the village.
The village of Banashankari has a small temple and a large
tank in front of it. It is more known for its annual fair which
attracts large number of people from nearby towns and villages.
Mahakoota is another place with an ancient temple complex inside a
leafy area. A perennial spring emerges from the complex and is said
to be holy. The beautiful temple complex is worth a visit.
Food and Accommodation. Only Badami has some reasonable
food and accommodation available. Use Badami as base to travel to
Aihole and Pattadakal.
How to Reach. Badami is approximately 500km from Bangalore.
Direct Buses are available. Nearest large towns are Hubli and Gadag.
Hubli is well connected from rest of the country by trains.